Bill Mott is a Hall of Fame trainer who ranks fifth all-time in purse money won ($262,405,419) in North America. He is fourth among trainers in the Breeders’ Cup in wins (10) and in purses earned ($18.2 million). Five of Mott’s Breeders’ Cup wins have come in the Distaff where this year he will send out the steadily-improving three-year-old filly Elate among his three Breeders’ Cup starters.
CAPLA TEMPTRESS (Juvenile Fillies Turf): This daughter of Lope de Vega was transferred to Mott from Marco Botti by Barry Irwin’s Team Valor Racing following her victory in the Grade 1 Natalma at Woodbine on September 17th.
For Botti, Capla Temptress won three of four starts. In the Natalma, Capla Temptress came with a steady run to rally from seventh and beat Dixie Moon by a half-length. Both Dixie Moon and third-place finisher Wonder Gadot came back to win stakes in their next two starts.
“She kept coming, coming and coming,” Mott said of Capla Temptress in the Natalma. “It wasn’t an electric move to me - it wasn’t Goldikova - but it was a nice, steady move; good enough to get her up there.”
Capla Temptress worked four times for Mott, the best move being on October 22nd when Mott put her in front of a workmate instead of behind, resulting in a better move.
ELATE (Distaff): This daughter of Medaglia d’Oro looked bound for stardom after winning her debut at Aqueduct last November by 12 1-2 lengths. It took awhile to regain her best form again, but she certainly is coming into the Distaff at the very top of her game.
Her turnaround began in June winning a minor stakes race at Delaware Park. In her next start, at Saratoga, she was beaten a head by Abel Tasman in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks, a race where Abel Tasman tightened things up on Elate in deep stretch. The stewards took a look it, but ultimately let the result stand.
Elate came back to win the Grade 1 Alabama by 5 1-2 lengths and the Grade 1 Beldame, against older fillies and mares, by 8 1-4 lengths.
The Beldame was not nearly as tough as the Distaff, still Elate is showing all the right signs of potentially giving Mott a sixth victory in this race.
“She looks to me like she’s improved a little bit every time visually,” Mott said. “It seems like she’s holding her own now. She’s trained well enough and worked well enough.”
BALLAGH ROCKS (Mile): A potential live longshot in the Mile after a third-place finish behind Mile contestants Suedois and Heart to Heart in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland and a third behind Mile contender World Approval in the Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga.
“Hes got to get really lucky if he’s going to get a piece of it,” Mott said. “I think any horse that’s going to win that race has got to get a good trip.”
Mott expressed concern about Ballagh Rocks potentially losing ground on the final turn when he’ll likely have to tip wide to get around other horses and make his late run.